Bastardizing crispy duck, ftw.

U Fleku 500 year old beirgarten with Swedish canonballs embedded in the wall from the 30 year war.

On a recent trip to Prague I fell in love with the crunchy skinned, savory flavors of the roasted duck I ordered at the most unlikely tourist trap and decided then and there duck is my next frontier.

A short little story about Prague. I happened to have been lucky enough to have seen Prague before it’s restoration had begun, when the Cinderella church was surrounded by derelict buildings trussed up with wood odds and ends. When bats skimmed your head.  When the main train station was straight out of the communist era. At the time I remember being in awe with the city and its beauty while I couldn’t help think to myself it really could use a good wash and a coat of paint. It was a summer when 300 bucks kept me going for a month.

Since then the city has been washed down, painted and the church is now surrounded by fresh and trendy shops and restaurants. Being the nostalgic I have to admit there is a part of me that misses that dusty and run down Prague of a decade ago, but I know better. Today’s Prague is still one of my favorite cities. The prices are still comfortable to the wallet. Best of all, as before it’s a city overflowing with really good eats from all over the world. If you are looking for good beer, great food and a lovely view filled with music and culture Prague is your spot. Just do yourself a favor and avoid the high season where it is popping with tourists and humidity.

What to do with left over crispy duck?

First off you need to roast yourself a crispy duck. It’s pretty simple if not time consuming. You need to clean any excess fat from the inside of the duck and neck, rinse it out and put the innards to the side. Carefully prick the skin with a fork all over, without piercing the meat! Be systematic you need to make sure the fat drains out of the skin. Then you rub it in a couple of small handfuls of kosher salt/sea salt (this means course large grain salt) inside and out. Bake on a rack at about 350F breast side up for 45 mins. Turn and continue baking for a further 45 minutes. You keep doing this until you have a crunchy, deep brown skin and an inner temperature of 165F.  Serve it with red beets, mashed potatoes and salad.

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Beets

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Ingredients

2-3 lrg.  Red Beets 1/2 inch slices.

2 Celery Stalks chopped roughly

1 lrg. Onion chopped roughly

1 lrg. Carrot chopped roughly

1 veg. Bullion

3-4 Pepper Corn

Rosemary and Thyme

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Directions

Depending on how many you will be serving slice up 2-3 large red beets with the skins on. Just make sure you wash them well. You will easily be able to peel the skin off once they are cooked by running them under cold water and just rubbing them lightly. They will keep the heat if you are quick.

Boil with roughly chopped celery, yellow onion, a bouillon cube and pepper corn with a sprig of rosemary if you have it at home. Basically you want to cook with the flavors you would use to make a roast. You want a meaty flavor to infuse the beets.  What ever is left over will be used for the duck in a hot dog bun.

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Duck fat

Save the duck fat. You can use it for confit or when in a mood for cardiac arrest roast, your potatoes in it.

Note: Duck is not a health choice. it has 3 times the saturated fat of chicken so keep it for special occasions.

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Now for the pièce de résistance shredded duck in a hot dog bun.

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Ingredients

Left over duck shredded, red beets, cheddar cheese, mayo, hotdog buns.

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Directions

Shred the left over duck and lightly saute in grape seed oil and a small splash of soy. NOT mushroom soy. Warm up your hotdog bun, shred a bit of cheddar, slice your left over red beets into small stripes and get your mayonnaise jar out.

In your bun alternate layers of duck, beets, cheese and a small spoonful of mayo.

Why is this so tasty. The savory of the duck contrasts  perfectly with the salt of the cheese and the sweetness of the beets.

I image you could even substitute cooked and sautéed calv tongue for duck.  A healthier cheaper variation. I have not tried this though so I can’t give you any guarantees.

AND!!! While I have an issue with eating cleaning organs, thinking if it’s meant to clean the blood it can’t be that healthy for you, I do love a good paté now and again.

While the duck livers are small they do make a lovely country paté.  It’s simple. Chop up the livers and sauté in bit of butter and oil, grape seed if possible. Add spring onion garlic, salt and pepper and some rosemary and fresh parsely chopped fine. When done add to a jar with a bit of the duck fat and let cool. Serve on toast. I am a thin layer kind of girl, but hey go for it.

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Duck Carcass

Once de-boned, use the bones to make a broth. Onions, carrots, celery, spices, etc. Simmer for a couple hours on low heat. Remove all of the vegetables and bones and simmer again on low heat until reduced to half. There you go duck broth.

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